We Are Change Colorado Exposes Denver’s Terror Museum
Morgan Rose and Turtle | Wearechangecolorado.org | December 1, 2008
We Are Change Colorado Exposes The Cell Terrorist Museum from John Doe on Vimeo.
The Center for Empowered Learning and Living or the CELL is the first museum dedicated specifically to the subject of terrorism. The CELL opened in downtown Denver on September 11, 2008. It encourages participants to shed their preconceived notions on the ideologies and aims of international terrorism.
The name of the exhibit is, “Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism”, which features gruesome images of dead women and children, mutilated bodies along with a virtual reality portrayal of Denver being attacked by terrorists. The CELL also has consultants and donors like former New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper who helped kick off the grand opening. The museum conveys its message through the use of sound bites, video clips and flash imagery to promote a political ideology, encouraging support for unconstitutional legislation like the PATRIOT Act and the FISA legislation.
This is legislation that directly violates people’s right to privacy, denies them due process and has been the legal justification for torture. The underlying message being promoted by The Cell, along with the use of such graphic material to relay that message peeked our interest. It definitely seemed worthy of investigation. We wanted to see who had an active interest in funding such an expensive and high tech museum to educate people specifically on the subject of terrorism. We found a lot of paths crossed at The Cell. Paths of people who, could arguably have a vested interest in promoting war and war funding. We found many tough questions that have yet to be asked. What we discovered was quite disturbing and raised some serious concerns. Why are people who are linked with defense contractors and political lobbyist groups, along with banking institutions that have been proven to be involved in serious criminal activity, putting their buck behind The Cell? Why are very prominent public officials promoting this museum? Why is this museum seeking to work with our schools to bring young kids there “to learn about terrorism”? Why is it that they are using their own definition of terrorism to “educate” people about terrorism? Why do they make so many references to the struggle between “security and civil liberties and intelligence gathering and privacy rights”?
When you realize many of these groups have a potential gain, either a political or a financial gain from war, war in the Middle East in particular. Questions regarding the true motives behind this establishment become blaringly apparent. This isn’t a museum to teach culture, history, art, or anything of the sort, I think that can be agreed upon.These are just a few of the questions that none one has addressed, but that we feel are at the true core reasons as to why an establishment like this is seeking to bring your children to view such graphic and politically opinionated material. As soon as one scratches the surface of The Cell to see who’s running the show behind the scenes there are a lot of interesting and honestly, quite disturbing names associated with this “museum”. Names I definitely would not involve in molding my young ones mind, that is for sure.
The Cell’s Executive director is Nancy Pearlman. Ms. Pearlman spent five years with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), most recently as the Deputy Regional Director for the Midwest Region managing daily operations of AIPAC’s largest regional office. AIPAC is an American lobbying group that advocates for pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. Under her leadership, she developed a plan that increased revenue by 75% in four years. She also served as a political appointee to the Clinton Administration, first as Special Projects Coordinator to the Office of the Social Secretary, and then as a Policy Editor to the President specializing on Middle East foreign policy issues.
AIPAC is arguably one of the most influential political lobbyist groups in Washington in regards to American foreign policy which obviously represents Israel’s interests in their lobbying efforts and continuously is working in Washington in one way or another to help bolster the U.S. support for the “Global War on Terror” as well as pushing the U.S. to take a more aggressive stance towards many Middle Eastern countries that are deemed a threat such as Iran
.A look at The Cells website reveals they worked in collaboration with RAND Corp. RAND is one of the world’s largest defense contractors and also boasts tremendous lobbying power in Washington.
One of the consultants to The Cell is a gentleman by the name of Brian Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins is senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corporation which has a history of actively lobbying the United States government for more war most recently claiming it “would save the U.S. economy”. Mr. Jenkins was also Deputy Chairman at Kroll Associates the company responsible for security (or the lack there of) at the World Trade Center complex on 9/11.
It seemed suspicious to have all of these intersecting roads of war monger’s and profiteers who have nearly been caught with their hands in the cookie jar just to say to the American people “ actually I was guarding the cookie jar….NOW BEAT IT!”The CELL is primarily funded by wealthy real estate magnate Larry Mizel of the fortune 500 company MDC Holdings, Inc. MDC is one of the nation’s largest real estate developers and Colorado’s largest home builder. He is also responsible for the museum and cultural art center here in Denver bearing his name, The Mizel Museum which claims to teach awareness and respect through Jewish life and culture. Mizel has gained a reputation as a key fundraiser and political power broker on both a state and national level. He was investigated for his role in creating fraudulent contracts to launder political contributions to Denver Mayor Fredrico Pena as a kickback for the development of Denver International Airport. Committing hostile takeovers and purchasing land from farmers for the airport project using funds generated from junk bond monies which brought about a 200 million dollar lawsuit involving Niel Bush our current presidents brother .He came under scrutiny for his relationships to “Junk Bond King” Michael Milken, who is hoping to be on the short list of presidential pardons doled out by Bush before he leaves office.
Bush’s most recent batch of pardons however, did not include any well-known convicts like the junk bond dealer Michael Milken, who is seeking a pardon on securities fraud charges. Some of Mizel’s other questionable associations have been with power lobbyist Norman Brownstein, Charles Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loans, and most notably Neil Bush’s Silverado Savings and Loans, for which Mizel was intimately involved resulting in that 200 million dollar federal lawsuit being filed against them . Mizel is also a founding contributor to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which gave a presentation titled “Terrorism and the Internet” on November 6, 2007 to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee with guest speakers from RAND Corp. During a slide show presentation they pictured Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which is a scientific body made up of over 200 accredited scientists, engineers and architects who are simply studying the collapse of the World Trade Center, as being affiliated with radical jihadists as well as websites that offer training in terrorist tactics as an example of a domestic terror organizations. With the many 9/11 references and disinfo regarding the September 11th attacks in the museum it was clear to me that they had no interest in teaching anything that involved critical thinking or truth and that they were there simply to perpetuate the official 9/11 story and the lies behind it. Larry Mizel’s associates and past actions certainly deserve close scrutiny when establishing his intent in creating the Center for Empowered Living and Learning.
The network of culprits surrounding the S&L crisis robbed millions of investors and tax payers alike of millions or even billions of dollars, and many of the key players in this scandal were left unaccountable. Norman Brownstein has played a key role in this network as a partner in the firm Brownstein Farber Hyatt and Schreck, which has at least two employees affiliated with The CELL. A former board member at Mizel’s MDC, author Peter Brewton has described Brownstein as, “one of the most influential political fundraisers in Colorado, who has worked with the junk bond industry, including many companies which issued bonds through Drexel Burhnam”. Drexel Burhnam’s CEO Michael Milken was the first non-MAFIA affiliated organization to be prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes for organized crime.
In 1989, none other than former New York City mayor and then U.S. Attouney for the city of New York Rudy Giuliani lead the case against Milken and his associates. Giuliani charged Milken under the RICO Act with 98 counts of racketeering and fraud. In a highly-publicized case, Milken was indicted by a federal grand jury, and pleaded guilty to six lesser securities and reporting violations. He paid a total of $900 million in fines and settlements relating primarily to civil lawsuits and was banned for life from the securities industry. Historian and scholar Webster Tarpley terms the network surrounding Keating, Mizel, and Milken as the “Leveraged Buy-Out (LBO) Mob”, for its role in a string of hostile takeovers orchestrated through financing from S&L’s and junk bonds. A close examination of the LBO Mob yields stunning results when considering a related financial scandal involving BCCI, also known as “The Drug Bank” which had links to the CIA, the Bin Ladens, Iran contra, Al Qaeda, as well as money laundering, drug running and weapons sales . Many of the key players from BCCI- including Roger Tamraz, Tolat Othman, Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, Abbas Gokal, and Adnan Khashoggi- had intimate financial ties to characters within the LBO Mob, including Charles Keating and Michael Milken In fact, Iran-figure, arms and drug trafficker and Saudi billionaire, Adnan Khashoggi came under the scrutiny of the SEC for failing to make margin calls to the company of Milken’s former office manager.
Charles Keating also had ties to BCCI figures as he was a co-defendant in a law suit with Iran-Contra figure Abbas Gokal. Mizel and Gov. Bill Ritter and his family BCCI has been exhaustedly studied by many researchers, who have produced uncanny connections between the money laundering empire of BCCI and the phenomenon of international terror events. French authors Brisard and Dasquie have concluded that, “after dominating the financial news through the 1990s, the BCCI is now at the center of the financial network put in place by Osama bin Laden’s main supporters”. Author Peter Dale Scott, has thoroughly documented the BCCI’s role in the primary cut-out between the CIA and the financing of the Afghan War in the 70’s and 80’s, the international drug trade, and the Iran-Contra Scandal .
That is just the short story on what lies beneath the surface of the people and their associates who helped bring you this wonderful piece of non-profit propaganda. We decided to go visit The Cell in person and see firsthand what 6 million dollars of high tech terrorism propaganda looked like. We went with an open mind (as hard as it was) to take an honest look at the information they were presenting. It all started when we walked in and were anxiously greeted the security guard working the front desk. (mind you, I had just went across the street to the art museum, where priceless pieces are on display and I saw no one with a badge monitoring the patrons) He was initially friendly and enthusiastic and in our discussion disclosed that he had lost a cousin in the Pentagon attack on 9/11. One of the first things the security guard had us do was to read The Cell’s “definition of terrorism” which was printed largely covering an entire wall in the lobby. It went a little something like this.
Terrorism is the premeditated use of violence or the threat of violence targeting civilians or their property for political, religious or ideological gain. It is a tactic used to create an environment of fear, chaos and intimidation in order to further the terrorists’ objectives
The Cell’s definition of terrorism is not too far off in reality, although it made me think of how many times I had heard the mass media use ‘threats of violence” to try to persuade the public in one way or another and figured that was what I was in for in this museum dedicated to that very thing. I think we could all agree though that theirs is an acceptable definition of terrorism, regardless if the terrorist is a suicide bomber, a politician, or a famous talking head on national television promoting fear and propaganda to create further support for war.
As I read their definition it immediately struck me as very similar to the recently introduced piece of legislation to pass the House called “The Anti Homegrown Terrorist Prevention Act”  ( A.K.A. House Resolution: 1955) Having read HR: 1955 in full myself it was easy to see how strikingly familiar some of their terminology was.Here is HR 1955’s definition of terrorism: `(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. `(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.
Now if you haven’t read HR1955 I would strongly encourage you to do so. As you read it, hearken back to your rebel days (if you ever dared to be such) and tell me by these definitions who would not have been a terrorist. John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr. how about Mother Theresa? Well wait….. she was trying to “accomplish an ideological objective” to promote her “religious beliefs.” After reading the Cell’s definition I proceeded to pay for my entry which got me shiny piece of plastic resembling a credit card which contained the identity a person who had been a victim of terrorism. After receiving my “smart” card the Star Trek like doors to the exhibit with the word “TERRORISM” printed on them opened to a long hall with monitors lining both sides.
When we entered the doors closed behind us and the show began! As we walked through the museum visiting different kiosks, you swipe your card to learn about “your victim” all the while stopping and watching video clips describing terrorist events from around the world and reading random quotes throughout the entire museum projected on the walls, floors and ceilings by high tech equipment. There was a wall in one portion entitled “Tools of Terrorism.” This wall held pictures of objects one would expect to see labeled as terrorist’s tools like a grenade launcher and a machine gun along with other weapons and military equipment. But mixed in were a few things that threw me for a loop. There was a guitar, a pair of boots, as well as a cell phone, a laptop, a compass, a pocket knife, one of those electronic “giga pet” toys that have not been seen since the mid-1990’s, as well as a few other benign everyday objects in a lot of people’s lives. Mockup of a “pipe bomb” on display At another point we entered a room with a warning sign on the door about the graphic nature of what we were about to see. Inside this room there are 360 degree video screens. The lights go down and it is pitch black for a few seconds. Then, it is as if you are in Denver at the people’s fair, then strolling down 16th street mall.
People are out enjoying a beautiful summer day, the horse carriage is cruising by, kids are playing and people are out and about. The sound track was almost over powered with the sounds of children playing and laughter (it made me think of canned laughter from TV sitcoms) when all of the sudden a loud explosion is heard and a bomb goes off. All you see is fire and smoke. Then screams and crying, images of panicked crowds, bloody faces wretched in pain, then it is dark again. After that, the motorized doors open and we were herded into another portion of the museum that is more like an interactive learning center with touch screens and video walls and many other interactive kiosks. Walking through learning “key points” about terrorism as you go, from internet terrorism, to the struggle between civil rights and national security There were multiple kiosks reminding you in one verbiage or another that “you will be needing to give up some of your liberty and privacy in the future to keep everyone safer.” From start to finish, in every single section there was extremely graphic footage and pictures of mutilated bodies, burned children, mass graves, blood and gore, dead bodies, and much more. Not to mention the countless pictures strewn throughout of people with agonizing expressions of pain and anguish on their bloodied faces.
As we toured the museum there were signs throughout warning of the “graphic nature” of what we were about to see. The whole experience was absolutely disturbing to say the least. I could not imagine how it would affect a young child. This could easily be classified as a soft form of trauma based mind control. It was very hard for me to make it all the way through the museum. The amount of fear and helplessness they projected on to the individual along with the constant nagging for me to give up MY rights so that these defense corporations in conjunction with the government’s “domestic intelligence agencies” can make me safer, while we bomb and kill more people in third world countries living in mud huts was very disturbing. At the very last kiosk you get to find out if “your victim” lives or dies.
I noticed people running up anxiously like it was a game, with their friends to see if “they lived or died” I heard many say as they laughed and joked “ Oh I died!!!’ or “yay I lived!” as if they were actually the person on the card whose life was represented. The security guard from the front desk had followed us through the whole exhibit. Helping when he could but keeping a watchful eye on everyone.
There was a point I attempted to take a picture with my cell phone (something I did numerous times at the art museum) when he rushed over and instructed me that pictures were not permitted. In fact they are so strict about pictures or filming I witnessed a man who was openly taking pictures with a digital camera like any would-be tourist. The security guard confiscated the man’s camera and told him if he wanted to see the rest of the museum he would have to pick his camera up at the front desk on his way out otherwise he would have to leave.
I talked with this gentleman afterwards about the incident and he said “he did get his camera back, but that they had erased all the pictures off of it!” This seemed a bit extreme to me. I could not think of a very good reason why they would be so strict about tourists taking snap shots while visiting their museum.After I got home and sat down with the information I had researched and the experience I had from my tour of The Cell fresh in my mind I realized a few key points. Given these revelations and the interlocking nature between intelligence, finance, drug trafficking,terrorism, defense contractors, AIPAC, BCCI, S&L and people like Mizel, Brownstein, Milken, Niel Bush, Rudy Giulianin, Denver Mayor’s past and present and many others it made me even more certain that The Cell should definitely be challenged on their motives for building this six million dollar terror museum.
It uses fear-based imagery and disinformation to prompt support of police state measures and a revamped cold war mindset among policy makers all while pushing people to accept they will HAVE to give up rights bestowed to them by our constitution to keep everyone safe in America. Clearly Mizel and his network of cronies were tied into a larger network that has actually created and funded “real” terrorism. After we chipped away the very thin façade that the people behind The Cell use as cover, the toughest question still remained.
WHO are the real terrorists? In conclusion, this is not a permission slip I would advise any parent to sign for their kids. With so much fear and helplessness projected on to the average person, with the use of such graphic material and the assumed answers they provide that the only cure for this is more government with less individual liberty and civil rights I think their motive becomes all too clear. Kay Edwards, Director of Visitor Services stated to me that they were “actively marketing to middle schools in the Denver area.” I would advise any parents that catch wind of this in their child’s school to organize the other parents against it. Educate the school board members as to who put this museum there and encourage all the adults, both parents and school staff to go tour it first and I am sure that no one will want to send their kids to it after they do that!
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